Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Snapping Turtles

Last year, when we were still in the home construction phase, I took Timmy for walks around the new housing development. Mind you, I am using the word housing development lightly. There are about 10 houses there now, each with 1.5-2 acres of land, and room for at least 50 more houses. So, a lot of the development is still pretty woodsy. The third phase of the development, which only has a dirt road going through it right now, is a great place for walks. It's got a nice path going through the woods and follows along a little stream and a pond. During one of our walks, I found a turtle. I was so excited to see it, that I picked it up and put it in the bottom of the stroller so Timmy and I could look at in more depth when we got back to our under construction house. The turtle stayed pretty still, most likely traumatized from my kidnapping, for 3/4 of the ride back to our house. The last 1/4 of the journey, I had to keep pushing him back under the stroller.

We got to the house and the hubs said to me, 'that's a snapping turtle." My response was something like, "yeah, so?" Apparently, these little pre-historic creatures are appropriately called "snapping" turtles for their biting tendencies. Yikes! I believe that was offense number 173 on the dumb ass new mommy things that I have done - letting a turtle with biting and not letting go tendencies in the bottom of the stroller that is carrying my one year old was not smart

In my defense, being a so cal girl, I never had seen a snapping turtle.

This year, I had a run in with another snapping turtle. Apparently there is a snapping turtle that comes to lay her eggs in the sand outside my office each year. The office is on a river, and she makes the journey up and looks for a good place. This year she was there for 2 days. She was like a phantom to me the first day - I had only heard of her, but never had any luck seeing her as I traveled between buildings. Then, at the end of the day someone told me to go out and look at my car - she was under the wheel. I'm fairly certain her cousin, who lives in my development, got word to her that she was to sit in protest under my rear wheel. Fabulous! I spent the remainder of my day wondering how to move her. Luckily, I was not faced with moving her - she did that all on her own.
The next day, she was back and had found that perfect place for her eggs; right under my boss's window. It was a bird's eye view of mother nature. We saw her dig the whole, lay the eggs, the push dirt back over the top. Once she was done, she tottled right on back to the river. Now, all we have to do is wait for the little ones to pop themselves out of the dirt - that should be a sight. In August, I do believe I will start taking my camera to work to catch this wonderful thing on camera.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Yeah, snapping turtles aren't especially friendly. We used to get them in our yard occasionally and my dad would carry them out back to the meadow so the dogs or one of us kids wouldn't poke around a crabby turtle capable of removing fingers.

A couple times we had them lay eggs in the yard and when the babies finally came digging out, they were so cute!! Lil black turtles about the size of half dollars. Definitely take the camera. I'm know we have pics of baby turtles somewhere!